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World Economic Forum: Mind the 100 Year Gap

Updated: Jan 23, 2020

According to the Global Gender Report 2020, published by the World Economic Forum and including 153 countries, gender parity won't be attained for 99.5 years. This is important because gender parity has a fundamental bearing on whether or not societies and economies thrive. The growth, competitiveness and future readiness of economies and global businesses are impacted by the developing and utilizing half of the world's talent.

The top 10 countries relative to global parity are Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, Rwanda, and Germany. The United States is #53.

Overall gender parity has improved. It has been fully realized in 40 of the 153 countries included in the report. Although the areas of educational attainment and health and survival are very close to parity, it will take 95 years years to close the gender gap in the political arena which remains the worst performing sector. Another area of concern is economic participation and opportunity which is at 57.8% parity and will take 257 years before full parity can be achieved.

The report cites 3 reasons for this: women are greatly represented in areas that are prone to automation; not enough women are entering professions where wage growth is the most pronounced (most obviously but not exclusively, technology), and women face perennial problems of insufficient care infrastructure and access to capital.

Looking to the future, the report suggests that one of the greatest challenges preventing the economic gender gap from closing is women's under-representation in emerging technical fields such as cloud computing where just 12% of professionals are women. To address these deficiencies, the report suggests that the workforce strategy must ensure that women are better equipped to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the Fourth Industrial Revolution; workplaces need to practice more diverse hiring, and foster greater inclusive work cultures.

To read more about this report, please go to

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